TikTok ban in US very unusual: Facebook COO

As China-based TikTok faces legal hurdles in the US, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg has said that the ban on the short-video making app was very unusual.

In an interview during the ‘Women in Tech, Media and Finance’ conference organized by The Information, Sandberg criticized the ban on the ByteDance-owned app.

“The White House’s order to ban TikTok was very unusual in the history of business and wasn’t something Facebook had called for,” she said.

Sandberg’s comments came as US regulators scrutinise Facebook’s own anti-competitive market practices.

The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg raised concerns about TikTok with lawmakers in the US months before the Donald Trump administration started portraying the short video-sharing platform as a threat to national security.

Zuckerberg argued that TikTok, owned by Chinese unicorn ByteDance, is not committed to freedom of expression and represents a threat to the technological supremacy of the US.

The Facebook CEO apparently argued that Washington should be more concerned about the Chinese Internet companies than reining in Facebook.

Similar arguments were also made during his meeting with several senators following which the concerns were shared with other authorities and the government eventually started a national security review of the company.

Trump issued an executive order in August that gave ByteDance an option to divest its TikTok business in the US within 90 days.

Facebook recently launched the Reels feature in Instagram which offers TikTok-like functionalities.